Is the Clegg/Cameron friendship cooling off before it even got going? Well, certainly a neat analysis (from Millward Brown) of the language employed during the last leaders debate would seem to suggest that it might be. Clegg and Cameron had the smallest pool of common words by some way- just 13, compared to 27 shared between DC and GB, and 20 between NC and GB (see chart). Considering that almost a quarter of their shared terminology was unlikely to be complimentary (“Gordon”, “Brown” and “Labour”), and the only meaningful phrases they shared was “council” and city” (both issues upon which they disagree) they appeared to have very little in common to say at all.
I’m afraid it’s a little hard to make out, but hopefully you’ll get the picture!
Of course, this is hardly a litmus test for co-operation but is does provide some interesting insights. Take a look at their top twelve words used list:
Brown Cameron Clegg
people 62 people 61 people 53
tax 56 government 37 tax 49
cut 45 tax 33 money 26
bank 32 year 31 work 26
country 32 work 28 pay 25
David 31 bank 25 bank 24
credit 29 country 23 Cameron 16
job 25 economy 22 David 16
Conservative 24 business 17 income 16
year 23 cut 16 Brown 14
economy 21 money 16 Gordon 14
work 21 waste 14 problem 14
Neither Cameron nor Gordon made reference to “Nick” or “Clegg” enough to make the list. Fence sitting before a hung parliament, perhaps? And while tax and people topped all the polls, work was a strangely low priority in GB’s vocab- possibly starting to regret that tax on jobs he’s stoutly defended for so long?
One final observation from the shared words chart: Clegg was the only man to breathe the word “Chancellor”. In 90mins of debate in which the economy was the focal point, neither Cameron nor Brown dared to mention what we’ve all been thinking. No-one wants another term of Darling after the mess we’ve been put through and Osborne looks green and unsure. During times of financial uncertainty the minister behind the finances need experience and nous- Vince has both in abundance. Increasingly he looks like the only man well suited to steering our economy and Brown and Cameron both know it. Funny that Brown didn’t remind us of his (oh so successful) tenure as Chancellor isn’t it?!Tags: Chancellor, David Cameron, Election, Election Debate, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg